CITY OF COLUMBIA RUNOFF ELECTION UPDATE …
|| By TAYLOR BROWN || I’ve been hearing rumors all week that Columbia, S.C. “Mayorhood” Steve Benjamin is planning a last minute push to make sure his hand-picked minions get elected to city council next week instead of two candidates who might not vote with his Lack-of-Honor 100 percent of the time.
Don’t get me wrong, Howard Duvall would not be a voice for openness and accountability in government – that is just not his nature. However, I do think he would occasionally stand up to the mayor. Duvall has the background to be the type of council member our city desperately needs, but I think he is like the high school student who will fail to live up to his potential because he is unable to focus on the important issues at hand.
According to Benjamin’s latest filing, he has $205,000 cash on hand in his campaign account. But the mayor has a problem, even though many of his cronies in the legislature have not voted to update our state’s antiquated campaign laws – it is still going to be difficult for the mayor to legally spend his campaign money in support of his two chosen ones.
Damn those inconvenient laws!
Here is the link showing Benjamin’s contributions and expenditures. It makes for some interesting reading. Make sure you check out the contributor list and who gets paid on Benjamin’s expenditure pages. It appears as though there are some GOP firms under contract to the Mayorhood.
The “X-factor” in any South Carolina race is that groups can spend all the private and corporate money they want as an independent expenditure organization, but I am simply not hearing that the mayor is planning to use such a front group. After all, he has all that money – other people’s money – just sitting in his campaign account. Since it is all special interest money or crony money – my pet name for this money is “stripper money” – there will always be more forthcoming to make sure the mayor’s campaign account is flush.
Maybe Benjamin will get crony capitalist developer Bob Hughes or his hanger-on, GOP consultant Bob McAlister, to pony up with the promise the gravy train will continue for Bull Street. Of course McAlister ran incumbent councilman Cameron Runyan‘s campaign into the ground – so there’s no guarantee getting him involved will produce the desired outcome.
As an aside, I received a Runyan mail piece on Friday – three days after the election.
Sadly, there is no real time ethics reporting for the mayor prior to this election (his name isn’t on the ballot), so we will have to wait until January to see how Benjamin and his cronies tried to influence Columbia’s voters.
According to my sources, Benjamin and his advisors are working closely with his two candidates of choice – Andy Smith and Aaron Bishop – in the hopes of launching a $50,000-plus media buy that doesn’t run afoul of state ethics law. I don’t know about you, but it deeply disturbs me when politicians spend their time, energy and resources trying to obey the letter of the law as they seek to shred the spirit and intent of the law – but maybe that’s just me.
As I noted in my last update on the Columbia runoff, I hope the voters in our community bother to show up and vote against Benjamin and his cronies. I am supporting Duvall reluctantly as the lesser of two of evils, and hope he proves me wrong by providing the voters of our city with open and honest leadership. And while I do not know Rev. Ed McDowell, I hope he defeats Bishop in the other runoff election because the latter would be nothing but a rubber stamp vote for the mayor.
Taylor Brown is a 20-something Wofford College graduate who somehow got sucked into politics at an early age. She is easily won over with Rush’s fast food, wine, and spirited political arguments.
Taylor, be a thorn in their sides …….
Now now there dear
Stripper money, I am told, is for the purpose of facilitating the exposure of one’s nakkiedness – preferably female nakkiedness
I have seen photos of Benjamin, Bishop and Smith and I don’t think even Ms. Benjamin would shove a Jackson in any of their BVD’s to see more
Now if the original Three Stooges were alive. I could see Ms. Benjamin gripping a Jackson in her teeth and burying it in Curly’s curlier
Well, now I’m obligated to again put one of Taylor’s beach fotos as my pc (that’s not ‘politically correct’) background tomorrow morning.
Kudos Taylor Brown- you’re a mind reader!
Jesus, look at that mug on Captain Diabetes. The easiest way to get him out of office is for everyone to send him their kids Halloween candy and wait for the attack. Instead of sniffing coke of a hookers ass, grind up some Smarties for him and wait for diabetic shock.
Sometimes the truth is the TRUTH.
The Black students demonstrated in Missouri that a united front produced positive change. Likewise such a tactic against the Democratic Party & it’s Uncle Tom leadership, from Bama to Benjamin would result in similar results. They would never win a national election without the Black vote. And poor Hillary would have prostitute her wares elsewhere.
Get a brain and put your fire out.
deo vindice = motto of the debunked confederacy…god will prove us ignorant & immoral.
Taylor may (or may not) be correct in her “X-factor” theory that outside or independent groups can spend unlimited money in elections. However, such groups must file reports of their contributors and expenditures if more than $400 runs through their hands in any election.
The Ethics Commission does not have the staff resources to look for non-compliance, so if Taylor has her suspicions, she should file a complaint alleging specific charges.
Duvall is an old school bureaucrat that will have his “insider” brothers feasting on the City before the first night sets in. They will show the colored mayor what white, skilled, experienced crooks can do!
Amateur hour is over. It is time for the professional cronies to pick us clean!
He is a f’ing crook is what he is!
Every other city in the US has drinking water. We have shitwater. Why is that? Bob mcAlister is the Kiss of Death for anybody. Glad to know he supports the Mayor. Of course, the Mayor would take reparations from anyone. McAlister is indeed a Fool. Let’s hope he keeps working for Mayor Amin. So, mullen taylor and bob mcalister both work for the same guy? That’s hysterical. No stranger bedfellows in the history of the world. They deserve each other so richly. No cure for that STD!
Bob mcalister hasn’t picked a winner since David Greasley. He would pay big bucks for a little vain praise, or acknowledgment from anybody in public office. I can see Mayor Shitwater milking that Old Loser for thousands.
Bob McAlister is an equal opportunity fleecer. He rapes the rich and the poor, the dem and the rep. Bob Hughes is paying through the nose for Bob M but he needs Bob for the tax payer funded subsidies.
Bob has made a fortune off his association with Leatherman. Between the two of them they have their finger in every pie.
I know Howard Duvall, apparently Miss Brown does not. Not his nature? How did you actually divine that false characterization? There is no doubt that Howard is a mainstream Democrat (as in liberal), and I don’t think he would disagree with that assertion. However to assert that he “would not be a voice for openness and accountability in government – that is just not his nature.” belies the facts of his entire professional career before and during his tenure at the MASC.
As Director of the SC Municipal Association, he and this then staff at *all* times admonished local elected and appointed officials to promote openness and accountability in the conduct of municipal affairs, always, every day. The MASC then and today has always instructed municipalities to err on the side of caution on any issue in terms of conducting public business, in………public. As a former appointed municipal official in 3 SC jurisdictions, and having consulted for many more, I cannot think of anyone that has done more to promote openness, accountability, adherence to SC statutes pertaining to local governments, proper accounting practices, methodologies, and sound governance than Howard Duvall.
“As a former appointed municipal official in 3 SC jurisdictions, and having consulted for many more”
No one was getting rich or living well in the small jurisdictions I worked for. The money involved was certainly not worth the hassle though. I agree, the private sector is far better, and I’m doing really, really well now you damn dirty ape.
Well T-Bone has done so well on his own, I imagine with his hand-picked city council he’ll be able to do even more…. basketball courts on every corner, hip-hop concerts downtown that white people still won’t go to, and strip club VIP treatment for all senior city officials.
Seems like turnout was pretty low in the mayor’s home precinct–maybe because his wife kicked him out and he’s living at the Hilton.
That’s right—just like your gutless state legislators NOT letting you vote on the flag—they let Felon Ben hide his DUI’s and other felonies because they figga
Obama’s STILL in the White House—Diamond Jim’s NOT been indicted for the 50 mil—and your payday-grubbers think you’ll bow with them at the altar of… !!!
Don’tworry. He’ll do a Obama does; disregard the law. And, because he is black, the legislator wont do anything about it.
I hope he goes to the same fed pen with his buddy Patrick Cannon and they both get raped by AIDS infested inmates!